Fernandes' Mangaluru connection: From schooling to trade
George Fernandes chose to go to a seminary in Bengaluru, far away from his home town here, early in his life to escape from his father's legal profession. Born here (then Mangalore), Fernandes joined the St Peter's Seminary at the age of 16 in 1946 after doing high schooling here but stayed there only for two years.
His parents sent him to the seminary so that he can become a Roman Catholic priest, a wish that did not materialise. Free thinking and independent that he was from an early age, Fernandes left the seminary after he felt there were blemishes in the church which he found hard to compromise with.
He though there was a lot of difference between words and practice in the institution of Church and that rectors got better food than seminarians. According to a published account of his wife Leila Kabir Fernandes on a website, he was excommunicated from the Church for his bold views.
He joined the trade union movement here where P. DMello became his mentor. The former defence minister was a polyglot who conversed in Tulu, Kannada and Konkani whenever he interacted with people from the Dakshina Kannada region.
However, in his political career, he never contested from the region. Fernandes was fluent in Hindi and English. PTI MVG VS TVS VS VS.
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